The bigger the entrée, the bigger the appetite. In the first round of the newly launched NXT Breakout Tournament, Angel Garza and Joaquin Wilde gave volume to that credo in a rip-roaring showdown that prompted “Fight forever” chants throughout Full Sail Live.
Garza, an uber-confident third-generation luchador, put his versatile skillset on full display with a series of fast-paced maneuvers that threw Wilde's innovative offense out of whack, which was apparent when he manipulated a dazzling headscissors from his opponent with a faceplant right onto the canvas. However, Wilde used his fearless spirit to force Garza to his wit's end through creative attacks such as countering a running attack with an impressive inverted atomic drop that came packed with a stomp facebreaker followed by a roll-up pin attempt.
Aware that a longer match would favor the Chicago-bred daredevil, Garza went straight to business and cut down his opponent with a jaw-dropping Spanish Fly that left NXT announcer Mauro Ranallo hollering “Mamma Mia!” To ensure a victory, he latched a devastating double underhook butterfly stunner on a winded Wilde, snagging the pinfall and a ticket to the next round.
Since his blockbuster arrival, Kushida has taught the NXT Universe one thing: The future is now. After duking it out with 205 Live's Drew Gulak in a memorable (and grueling) Submission Match, the Japanese Superstar expressed his desire to continue his statement-making path against competition not just at NXT, but across the board, from Raw to SmackDown LIVE and 205 Live. Is the rest of WWE ready for the future?
Free smoke season is in full effect, and that was all NXT Tag Team Champions The Street Profits had to offer their fervid rivals The Forgotten Sons in combat this week.
Before their scheduled bout, Montez Ford & Angelo Dawkins volunteered to put their championship on the line, promising to leave Wesley Blake & Steve Cutler “remembered” as the first team to take an L from the new champs. As the move prompted the NXT announcers to speculate whether or not the titles were on the line, Ford & Dawkins brought the fight to their nemeses and came seconds away from making good on their word before Jaxson Ryker intervened. After Ford landed a breathtaking frog splash on Cutler, Ryker jumped in the ring and clobbered away at the reigning champs before Oney Lorcan & Danny Burch ran down to make the save.
Lorcan & Burch also share a tense history with The Forgotten Sons, and it wasn't long until they forced The Savages of NXT out of the ring. But as the Brit-Am bruisers took the liberty of handing Ford & Dawkins their NXT Tag Team Titles, the gritty duo couldn't help themselves from being transfixed by its treasured appeal. Lorcan & Burch would then leave little to wonder as they left the champions with the parting words, “You owe us.”
What do you call a flight without end? NXT newcomer Nykos Rikos learned the answer to that upon seconds of racking up flyer miles as he flew across the ring following a turbulent pounce by “Limitless” Keith Lee. After declaring this was “my NXT,” Lee shipped his opponent off to la-la land by fastening him with the Limit Breaker, a fireman's carry converted into a powerslam, for the decisive win.
The life of the NXT Champion Adam Cole looks to be nothing short of sweet, bay bay! That much was made clear in the first entry of his Bay Bay Championship Tour series, as he allowed cameras to follow his every move. In addition to hanging out with Slipknot at Download Fest, The Panama City Playboy also made a stop in Cleveland, where he could be seen stepping into Johnny Gargano's family-owned restaurant, a move that will surely draw the ire of his rival.
Unforgiving is usually the way to describe what goes down inside the steel confines of a traditional Cage Match, but Io Shirai gave it new meaning in the aftermath of her NXT Women's Title brawl against Shayna Baszler.
The deep-seated animosity between these rivals came to a punishing head as they took full advantage of their steel surroundings. The NXT Women's Champion was not only out to defend her prized possession, but also to inflict some serious retribution for all the merciless assaults Shirai imposed against her (and The Horsewomen's Jessamyn Duke & Marina Shafir) over the past month – from the Kendo stick attack at TakeOver: XXV to the arena-wide brawl that popped off on the June 12 edition of NXT TV. As a result, The Queen of Spades started the match by sticking to the basics, which included a flurry of hard-hitting MMA strikes and limb-twisting submission holds. Minutes into the match, the champion trapped Shirai in Kirifuda Clutch territory before maneuvering into a punishing single-leg Boston crab. After landing a series of strongarm attacks, Baszler looked to be on the verge of climbing out of the cage, but she instead returned to cause more damage to the Japanese Superstar – or so she thought.
Despite being rammed into the cage wall, Shirai miraculously found her stride and never looked back. After torpedoing Baszler into the steel with a series of dropkicks, The Genius of the Sky took to the high-rent district and clasped a spine-tingling German suplex on the champion from the top rope. As Shirai found a clear path to the door, she was met by Baszler's henchwomen, whose distraction allowed Baszler to clutch The Genius of the Sky into the third Kirifuda Clutch attempt of the night. But Shirai's stride continued, as she rolled out of Baszler's signature submission hold to administer a double stomp right onto Baszler's sternum.
With Shafir guarding the door, Shirai opted to ascend the cage walls in an attempt to climb over and out. As Shafir scaled the steel structure to prevent Shirai's escape, Candice LeRae arrived and met her halfway up the wall to even the odds. When Duke stepped inside the ring to walk Baszler out of the cage, Tenacious C crashed into her with a jaw-dropping splash off the top of the cage. With Baszler by her lonesome, The Genius of the Sky took a leap of faith off the cage and landed a gravity-defying moonsault on the champion.
In the final moments, both Superstars engaged in a tug of war at the doorway. When The Queen of Spades clutched her rival into a last-minute Kirifuda Clutch, a desperate Shirai clocked Baszler with the cage door, inadvertently sending the champion collapsing right out of the ring to the floor and thereby retaining her NXT Women's Championship.
Of course, the aftermath left a thick air of bewilderment inside Full Sail Live. Unfortunately, no one felt the brunt of that puzzlement more than LeRae, who wound up on the receiving end of a savage attack by Shirai. The defeat triggered a sadistic side in Io, as she laid waste to LeRae, assaulting her with a steel chair before suplexing her atop the equalizer.
It was a surreal conclusion that begs more questions than answers. Has Shirai exposed her true colors with this assault? If so, why did LeRae bear the brunt of her rage?
- Numbers in parentheses indicate the length of the match.
- (c) refers to the champion(s) heading into the match.
- Angel Garza defeated Joaquin Wilde in a 2019 NXT Breakout Tournament First Round Match (7:23)
- Street Profits (Angelo Dawkins & Montez Ford) (c) defeated The Forgotten Sons (Steve Cutler & Wesley Blake) (w/ Jaxson Ryker) by DQ to retain the NXT Tag Team Championship (2:21)
- Keith Lee defeated Nykos Rikos (1:03)
- Shayna Baszler (c) defeated Io Shirai in a Steel Cage match to retain the NXT Women's Championship (13:31)
Other on-screen talent